Rural Development

Carson Mencken, Ph.D.

Dr. Carson Mencken

Dr. F. Carson Mencken is a professor of sociology at Baylor University and an expert on paranormal believers.

His additional areas of research expertise include economic development, criminology and research methods. Recently, with Dr. Charles Tolbert, Mencken has been pursuing research which focuses on the survival of small businesses in rural economies.

Mencken co-wrote 2010 Paranormal America: Ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts and other Curiosities in Religion and Culture. He has authored over 4030 professional publications. He has received millions of dollars in competitive grant funding for his research from such sources as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the United States Department of the Interior, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Justice and the John Templeton Foundation. He was the Project Director for the "Empirical Study of Values in China (ESVIC)."

He received his bachelor's degree from the College of Charleston, and his master's and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

To interview Dr. Mencken, contact Terry Goodrich, at 254-710-3321, or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961.

Charles M. Tolbert, Ph.D.

Charles Tolbert, Ph.D.

Charles M. Tolbert, Ph.D., is the chair of the sociology department in the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University. He also is a senior research scientist at Baylor University's Center for Community Research and Development and is a research associate with special sworn status at the Center for Economic Studies of the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Tolbert specializes in studies of social stratification, social demography, rural sociology and social research methods. His research has been recognized in Journal of Applied Social Sciences, Rural Sociology, Social Justice, Social Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review and other notable publications in the field.

After receiving a bachelor's and master's in sociology from Baylor University, Tolbert earned a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia. He taught and conducted research at Emory University, Florida State University and Louisiana State University before coming to Baylor University in 2000.

To interview Dr. Tolbert, contact Terry Goodrich, at (254) 710-3321 or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961.